A Fan’s Guide to World Rugby

The City that Knows How to Dance

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Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires

Second only to Brazil’s Sãu Paulo when it comes to largest populations in South America, the greater metropolitan area of Buenos Aires is a huge 13 million and counting.

The city itself, though, is a much more agreeable three million or so. Large it may be, but Argentina’s capital is far from a sprawling Sãu Paulo. In fact first-time visitors to the city, used to the clichéd impressions of South American cities are struck by just how stylish Buenos Aires is.

And is it any wonder really from a city smack in the middle of the region that gave us the sensual tango dance? Although there have been adaptations and variations of the tango, Argentina (and Uruguay) remains the home of the dance. Visitors to the city can enjoy displays of the dance in venues all over the city or go one step further and learn from the masters. Courses of varying lengths are on offer twinkle toes…

In fact you are going to need nimble footwork while staying here, if only to cross the massive Avenida 9 de Julio. There are so many lanes that pedestrians have to cross in stages via various safe crossing islands. Now you know what those frogs in the early PC games felt like.

When not dancing the tango, or crossing Avenida 9 de Julio, you’ll be needing a beer, which is handy because Argentina produces the very agreeable Cerveza Quilmes. For popular and busy nightlife areas head to San Telmo and Puerto Madero.

The city has a stylish café scene that will remind you of France or Italy and these cafés are a great place to start off the afternoon or evening because this city parties late. Try a mate (an infused drink enjoyed through an elaborate ‘straw’) or if you fancy something stronger simply ask for a aguardiente (firewater). Hey, now you’re dancing…

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A Beautiful Life

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Cape Town

Life’s pretty good for Capetonians. Nestled against the imposing Table Mountain and flanked by the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean, visitors very quickly declare that this is a city that has it all.

Beautiful warm summers, plentiful rains, an abundance of wine farms nearby, good-quality restaurants, a vibrant nightlife, sandy beaches and beautiful scenery, international sporting events, excellent shopping, affordable prices, and it has to be said, very beautiful people. It’s not a bad list is it?

The locals even put a positive spin on the wind that can whistle down the streets with ferocity sometimes, dubbing it the Cape Doctor because it blows away all the germs and keeps the city healthy. It’s no wonder that so many visitors end up staying or buying holiday homes in the city.

The V&A Waterfront, an ever-growing complex of shops, offices, restaurants and bars, is a magnet for tourists who enjoy the waterside location, the working harbour and the relaxed, cosmopolitan atmosphere. This is said to be the busiest tourist attraction in the country and it’s easy to see why. It is from here that you can get ferries to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and other leaders of today’s South Africa were imprisoned as they fought to free the country from apartheid.

Heading away from the city, you will find wine farms till your vino heart’s content in the Stellenbosch, Constantia, Paarl, Robertson and Worcester areas.

Popular city beaches are Camp’s Bay and Clifton, while Bloubergstrand, Noordhoek and Boulder’s Beach (where you can sometimes swim with penguins) can be found further out.